“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
“Love the Lord…”
Let me start this week off with an odd fact. The word “relationship” does not appear in most English versions of the Bible. That said, for the last three weeks we’ve found that a relationship with God through Jesus needs to be at the center of our lives. Is this really a biblical concept? Answer: The English word “relationship” did not come into common use until 1744, long after most Bible translators had set the tone and tenor for which English words to use in translating the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. The second part to this answer, though, is what we will study this week; that is, that Scripture is FULL of “relationship words” that are rich in meaning and give deep and significant definition to what God has intended for us to enjoy in Him.
Jesus was asked by a religious leader what was the most important command in all of Scripture (Mark 12:28-30). Jesus in turn quotes from Deuteronomy, and then couches His statement that ALL the law and prophets hang on this command. The word “love” used here carries the sense of adoration, closeness of relationship, and a willing, passionate obedience to know and to please. In saying that “all” the law and prophets “hang” on this command, Jesus is basically saying that “nothing else makes sense” apart from a relationship with God. If we miss the relationship and just embrace the religion, we have nothing to hang our truth system on.
Write out a simple prayer to God and reflect back to Him the truth of Deuteronomy 6:5:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.